Feb. 2, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's golf team opens the spring portion of its schedule at the 2014 MAC Match Play at Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Lakewood, Fla.
"We're excited to get somewhere warm," said NIU head coach Kim Kester. "We've seen a lot of good stuff over the offseason and I think we'll come out strong."
NIU, Akron, Bowling Green, Bradley, Cleveland State, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan will compete in two matches on Monday and one on Tuesday. The Huskies are seeded No. 7 and will be paired up against No. 2 seed Bowling Green in its first match. NIU and the Falcons tee off at 8 a.m. CT.
Senior Jenny Niemiec (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East), junior Casey LaBarbera (Marinette, Wis./Marinette), sophomores Samantha Coyne (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) and Connie Ellett (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) and freshmen Sydney Brickey (Burtchville, Mich./Shattuck-St. Mary's) and Lena Gautier (La Celle Saint Cloud, France/Creteil) comprise the NIU line up for the tournament.
Brickey and Coyne paced the Huskies in the fall with Brickey averaging 79.1 and Coyne shooting an 80.2 in 10 rounds of golf. LaBarbera and Niemiec averaged an 80.4 and 80.5 respectively, while Connie Ellett averaged 81.1 in three events in the fall. This week's tournament will be the first rounds as a Huskie for Gautier.
"I saw her (Lena) when I was in Florida over winter break and I saw her play a few rounds," Kester said. "I got to see what her game was about and I think she's going to come out really strong. Everyone's hitting it good so we just have to get everyone to click at the same time and pull an upset."
The Huskies and seven other teams will be competing on the King's Dunes course at Lakewood. King's Dunes is a par 72 course and plays at 5,935 yards.